When to wear your Manyatta belt (Part 1) - CRICKET (20.01.21)

Well, the simple answer to this question is, of course, whenever you want - be it winter, spring, summer or autumn.

That said, there are specific occasions when it would appear completely logical to get the Manyatta out of the drawer and slip it on around the waist:

Ties are falling out of fashion, worn much more out of obligation rather than choice and there are few places left where it is compulsory to wear a tie.

Most of us like to show our allegiance to a particular club we might be a member of but are reluctant to wear the club tie, indeed the vast majority of the time it would actually look odd and old-fashioned to wear one.

Most of the cricket clubs which have approved their own Manyatta belt - I Zingari, Eton Ramblers, Harrow Wanderers, Bradfield Waifs, Radley Rangers, Chelsea Arts Club CC, Hampshire Hogs, Flashmen and Free Foresters - have a full fixture list and let's hope we have a normal, Covid-free season.

All of these clubs have an unwritten rule to arrive at the match with a smart but casual look. 

So what better than to wear the Manyatta leather belt before commencement of play and then afterwards when drinks are taken and the teams get together.

It makes perfect sense - the belts represent your club, are smart and long-lasting but also practical. Most people have to wear a belt of some sort!

Then there is the time when you are fortunate to get tickets to watch a professional cricket match and there is no better place to watch this great game than Lord's, the home of the MCC and cricket in general. This is the place all professional cricketers want to play - there is no greater honour.

Different cricket grounds are known for their different atmospheres and Lord's is known for its genteel but knowledgeable crowd. Oh, that Lord's 'hum' - if you have been to Lord's, you will know exactly what I mean!

To go to Lord's, for so many cricket lovers, is to dress reasonably smart - chinos and a long-sleeved shirt.

It is also a place to show your cricket allegiance - maybe to wear your team's blazer. Many are the bright and colourful jackets worn at 'HQ'!

So, yes, it makes complete sense that when you go to that legendary ground in NW8, you take your Manyatta cricket belt.

Many will recognise your belt - if it is an I Zingari belt, for example, there will be a quiet respect and even jealousy that you are a member of such an exclusive club!

Perhaps it will be the distinctive Harrow Wanderer belt, indicating not only your luck at having been educated at such a prestigious school, but that you must be a handy cricketer as well!

Finally, you may even be an MCC member and be allowed to sit in the hallowed pavilion. The waiting time for membership currently stands at around 30 years!

Jackets still have to worn in the pavilion but fortunately can be removed when outside!

I am so grateful to be a member myself and still feel a childish excitement when entering the pavilion, mingling with the players and with so many distinguished spectators.

I created my own Manyatta belt in MCC colours and, as you can imagine, ALWAYS wear it on my visits to Lord's!

We do not have permission yet to sell this belt but I continue to be hopeful - if any MCC committee member is reading, please do get in touch!

So, in summary, do not feel you have to wear your Manyatta when only involved with cricket that day, but it is obvious you MUST wear it if you are!

The old cricket club tie is not a tie at all, it's a Manyatta belt.

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Traditional Belts